Beyond Main Street: Idaho’s Snow Paradise

idahoIsland Park, Idaho claims to have the longest Main Street in the world, at just over 33 miles long. Traverse this road and you’ll find numerous lodges, restaurants and pubs just waiting to offer winter hospitality all the way to the small town of Last Chance on the south end, with the popular Trout Hunter restaurant and several sled shops. The area is all about winter recreation come October, when the snow starts falling and annually brings an average of 18 feet of white bliss to the area.

500 miles of trails and endless possibilities for off-trail riding make this a “must” destination for snowmobilers. The town is close to magnificent Yellowstone National Park, so it’s not unexpected that the area is rich with natural beauty. Accessible by snowmobile, riders can take in many breathtaking sights like spectacular Mesa Falls and Big Springs.

The area is located in a flat caldera surrounded by mountains and boasts a vast, varied terrain. Riders can enjoy both flat meadows and steeper vertical ascents on more than 500 miles of groomed trails. It’s an ideal location for crossover riders who appreciate the mix of jetting through huge meadows and exploring the off-trail riding opportunities. There’s really something for everyone: long track mountain riders can head for the steep mountain terrain in Lionshead, Jefferson, or Sawtell. The beauty of nature surrounds riders as they pass through old and new growth forests,  explore the vast powder fields, or challenge themselves – and their sleds – on steep mountain inclines and creek drainage areas that fill up with snow every winter. These drainage areas are a fun element, but even experienced drivers will find them steep and at times challenging to get out of, and you could end up getting a cardio workout while digging and pulling your sled out.

The Island Park area is that ideal combination of heavy snowfall, varied terrain, plenty of accommodations and welcoming hospitality that has snowmobile enthusiasts returning year after year.